Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Physical concepts in optical communication

Overall Course Objectives

To enable the student to 1) apply his fundamental knowledge in optics and photonics to concrete issues in optical communications. 2) to understand how essential physical mechanisms can be applied to the generation, transmission and detection of optical data in high-speed optical communication systems. 3) to realize that future improvements in state-of-the-art optical transmission technology will rely on a thorough understanding of fundamental physical issues.

Learning Objectives

  • relate physical properties of the gain mechanisms to amplifier performance (gain and noise figure) in Raman amplifiers and erbium doped fibre amplifiers
  • analyse gain and noise performance of erbium doped fibre amplifiers and Raman amplifiers with respect to application in optical communication systems
  • compare performance of erbium doped fibre amplifiers against Raman amplifiers and parametric amplifiers
  • Explain the propagation properties of integrated dielectric waveguides and the effects in silicon used to modulate data signals
  • apply basic knowledge of electromagnetic theory to analyse the propagation of electromagnetic waves in anisotropic media
  • analyse how the linear electro-optic effect can be exploited to modulate the properties of an electromagnetic field
  • apply the linear electro-optic effect to the modulation of lightwaves for use in optical communication systems
  • carry out performance evaluation of advanced optical modulation formats and make design choices to find the appropriate format for a specific application

Course Content

The course covers the following topics:
• Optical Modulation:
– Light modulation for optical communication – direct vs. external modulation
– Propagation of electro-magnetic waves in anisotropic media
– The linear electro-optic effect
– The Mach-Zehnder modulator
– Mechanisms and structures for electro-optic modulation in Silicon
– Generation, properties and performance of advanced modulation formats

• Optical amplification:
– Rate equations, gain and noise figure
– Erbium doped fibre amplifiers
– Raman amplifiers
– Parametric amplifiers

Recommended prerequisites


Teaching Method

13 lectures including problem solving


See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 34153
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 5
Semester end Week 19
Days Tues 8-12

7.500,00 DKK